By Lalit Garg
The unparliamentary and aggressive way of expressing opposition to the agricultural bills by the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, the disputes between the ruling and opposition, the suspension of eight MPs and the parliamentary deadlock resulting from these conditions are blurring the dignity of democracy. How can the conditions of noise and sloganeering be called democratic instead of meaningful debate to make our opposition bigger? More than half of the opposition has been united in favor of the eight MPs who have been suspended for a week from the Rajya Sabha, where is the opposition playing its role? It appears that for the sake of farmer interest, politics of protest is being done without worrying about their ego and without understanding the basic spirit of the bills. Opposition is resorting to deception and lies to mislead, confuse and mislead the public and farmers against these laws.
Parliamentary democracy has its own limitations; it is governed not by the terms of opposition but by the politics of mutual understanding and mutual consent. Of the three major demands of the opposition, the biggest demand is that the suspension of MPs be withdrawn. Does this mean that the opposition wants that the indecency and aggression before the Presiding Officer be ignored? Due to this, the parliamentary dignities will continue to be broken again and again. The scenario of creating ruckus in the Parliament, showing indecency and emphasizing violent incidents will happen again and again. How can the stubbornness of wrong not be accepted as wrong? It is such a dogma that after the suspension of MPs who play with the dignity of the house, the opposition is not ready to believe that they have done anything wrong.
The irony is that when the ruling party is ready to consider the suspension of the MPs, then the opposition should also give up its obstinacy. It is the dogma of the opposition that the suspended MP is not willing to bow down to the goodwill initiative of Harivansh, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. When the Deputy Chairman arrived in the morning with tea for the opposition MPs who were sitting on a ‘dharna’ in the courtyard of Parliament House, the matter did not come to light. In a way, it is proved how contradictory and impractical is the contradiction in Indian politics. When our politicians go on a confrontation, they probably do not think what message is going on in the country.
Is there not even so much decency in Indian politics today that by accepting its mistakes, it is determined not to let such tragic events happen next? The previous Parliament sessions had started to be praised, but the current monsoon session has started to run afoul of prejudices keeping aside the good old days. It is unfortunate that we have not been able to raise the level of democratic conduct and ability. There are complete manuals for members of Parliament to behave and conduct within the house, but till now it has been consistently neglected to follow, due to which sometimes the atmosphere within the house has become uncomfortable, stagnant and rude. Leaders and heroes are not a thing to be produced in a factory. Loksabha and Rajya Sabha also do their work to develop their abilities and character. It is from here that the qualities of giving importance to not only the words of the constitution, but also its development. Utilizing the freedom of speech is also taught here. The democracy of India is the ideal democracy of the world, because here, where the opposition has the right to speak, it is the responsibility of the ruling party to listen to it. But how is it possible that one party will do what they want, which they want to do while they are in the house, stick to it, how is it possible? If the bills should not be forcibly passed, they should not be stopped by force. In a democracy, strength matters, so its value should also be kept.
If the opposition weakens and imposes an unfair obstruction in the rule of the ruling party, it will be said to hurt democracy. A similar scene was present when the passage of agricultural bills. When both the ruling and the opposition are ready for the benefit of the farmers, then why protest against the bills related to the interests of the farmers? Two demands related to the opposition’s agricultural bills are negotiable, on which consensus should be formed.
In which there is a demand, a law should be made so that no private buyer or company can take grain or produce from farmers at a price below the minimum support price. This demand is also logical and in the interest of the farmers as well as the country. No government thinks in favor of farmers will ever want to buy from farmers at a lower price than MSP. Another demand is that the government or the Food Corporation of India should ensure that no farmer procures grain at a price below MSP. There is another good demand associated with this; the MSP should be fixed as per the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Committee. Why should we oppose Parliament to agree to these demands? Why should the functioning of Parliament be interrupted? It is a tragic situation when the farmers need to give the message that the Parliament is ready to protect their interests, and then there is only conflict and opposition in the Opposition and exposing the discrepancies of politics.
Interrupting the formation of important bills of interest to the country is a sign of political anomaly. While our strategy should be such that small, medium and large villages can directly connect with cities, positive politics should be initiated on the issues of country interest. This linkage should not only be related to economic infrastructure (roads, markets, electricity etc.), but it should also be seen at the social level. We should not just think that the income of people living in cities should increase. There is a need for serious consideration on how the income of the farmers and the prosperity of the villages should be increased and the Agriculture Bill is centered on these important directions and the strength of India’s future economic scenario rests on these agricultural bills.
The economy which has been destroyed by the Corona epidemic is seen getting light only on the strength of agriculture, so it is necessary to get a positive message in the country in the name of agricultural bills. The farmer is more sensitive and empowered than any other country in India. Farmers’ organizations are also strong, but who is discussing so much with them? Private companies in the country should continue to exist and the farmers should also be empowered to bring back the confused economy of India. The farmer will be strong only then he can go to any other corner of the country and sell his crops, but at the same time, the basic Indian system of mandi and MSP also needs to be strengthened. The Central Government has repeated these same things that the system of mandi and support price will remain. In such a situation, why is distrust and opposition arising in Indian politics or peasant society? The responsibility of removing it may be more on the government, but the opposition should also play a positive role in this task. It is time to assure the country in collaboration with all the farmer organizations, so that there is a satisfactory response to the politics started in the name of farmers.
(Lalit Garg is a Journalist, columnist, writer and member of Rajbhasha samiti, Ministry of Home Affairs. He can be reached at email@example.com)